College Decisions and Reflections Blog Post – Juliette

*Disclaimer: This post is long overdue given that I committed to my college in early April and that I have senioritis.  Whoops.

Hello avid readers of the HSA tutoring blog site!

For me, second semester is undoubtedly more difficult than first semester.  Classes require understanding of first semester material.  In addition to classroom tests and final exams, standardized testing such as SAT subject tests, AP tests, and IB tests are often taken.  There are usually more extracurricular activities and events happening second semester.  Summer vacation is finally within sight, and one tends to burn out by the end of the school year.  Students have to choose what courses to take next year.  

On top of all of the responsibilities carried out second semester, as a high school senior, I also had to make a huge life decision: choosing where I would be spending my next four or more years (given that I do not drop out or transfer).

From the beginning of March, many college-bound high school seniors begin to hear decisions from colleges.  There are typically three results that a student may receive from a college: accepted, waitlisted, or rejected.  It is important to note that a student’s college results do not deem his or her worth or intellect.  Often times, many qualified students are placed on the waitlist or are rejected because there is simply not enough space for the incoming class.  While difficult, one should not compare his or her college acceptances with those of his or her peers.  Whether or not a student is accepted to a college is determined by that college’s admissions board.  Almost all of the time, these board members know little to nothing about the student outside of the application and supplemental materials.  However, there is more to a person than what is written on paper.  

After hearing from these colleges, the students then have to make a decision about which college they want to attend next fall.  When doing so, there are many factors to be considered.  For example, students and parents may look at financial aid packages to see if it is financially possible for the student to attend the institution.  Students may also look more in-depth at the programs, courses, and special opportunities that the schools offer.  For some, availability of classes and student-faculty ratios play important factors when deciding on a college.  Many schools often host information sessions or overnight stay programs so students can have a better understanding of the school’s academic and social scene.  Most importantly, these programs allow students to get a feel for the school.  Prospective students are able to sit in some lectures and can talk to current students about their lives on campus.  The best school for a student is one that the student can be happy at, and is not necessarily the school with the best reputation.  

In the fall, I will be attending Carnegie Mellon University’s Mellon College of Science, and I plan on majoring in Mathematics with a concentration in Operations Research and Statistics.    CMU essentially became my dream school after I visited it back in January.  I instantly felt at home when I set foot on campus, and I especially enjoyed the classes I sat in as well as the interaction with current CMU students.  Although I will be over two thousand and six hundred miles away from my family and many of my friends, I am excited to see what the future has in store for me!

– Juliette

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